Winter is upon us here in the northern hemisphere. Some of us more so than others. My wife just got on a running kick and dragged me along with her (kicking and screaming). Now I'm on a regular schedule of 3-4 runs per week and maybe one ride on the weekends (gravel!).
My winter riding schedule is probably worse than a lot of you. Not only do I lose all my daylight hours and see freezing temperatures I also work in the accounting industry which means my Jan-April is basically work and nothing else. Basically my cycling fitness is reduced quite a bit by spring.
In past years I have shifted from purely cycling in the nice months to light strength training (don't want to add bulk to carry up the hills!) at the gym and poorly scheduled spotty trainer time with the bike at home in the cold dark months. I wore out the bearings in my trainer and haven't replaced it yet, so this year I'm thinking about just sticking with my current schedule of:
Monday - Running / stretching
Tuesday - Core and upper body / stretching
Wednesday - Running / stretching
Thursday - Core and upper body / stretching
Friday - Running / stretching
Saturday/Sunday - at least one run and an outdoor ride weather (and work) permitting / stretching both days
I never skip my stretching now days which is mostly a mix of yoga poses to keep my legs and back loose and strong since a) I have back issues and b) cycling makes your legs muscles short and tight.
Does anyone have personal experience with using running to maintain their lung and heart capacity while dropping down to once weekly (if that) rides over a 6 month period? I know I'll lose some, but I'm hoping I'll be able to regain my base faster this spring than prior years.
Come spring I'll likely flip the schedule and replace cycling with running and doing just one run per week to try to maintain my running fitness. Sticking with the core and upper body work will likely be tough though...
Also, how does running translate to out of the saddle efforts climbing or sprinting?
Lastly I just want to say that running is stupid.